In case you haven’t heard, an 89 year old WWII vet living in Helena, Montana, was forced recently out of his home he had built after his deceased wife’s medical bills forced him into bankruptcy. Listing a $981 monthly Social Security check as his only source of income, Warren Bodeker claims his 10-acre property is worth more than $300,000 but is being sold for half. The proceeds of which would go toward an estimate $166,000 in debt and legal fees.
So how did Bodeker get into this predicament? He waived his homestead exemption, thinking it would be sold at his estimated $300,000 value, after being threatened with charges of fraud for failing to disclose assets including a stuffed Dall’s sheep head and gold and silver buried in his yard. Now with a sale price of nearly half, he’ll be left with nothing if the sale of the property isn’t stopped. Here’s his side of the story:
From a Debtor’s standpoint – It’s a shame that a painful end of life illness for a spouse has forced a man to declare bankruptcy. A person should be allowed to die with dignity and not financially ruin his or her spouse.
From a Trustee standpoint – This Debtor’s attorney should be disbarred. Either the vet did not pay attention when he was prepped for this case or the attorney did not explain all the things that can happen during it. A Chapter 7 filing is a major decision. Once you go down that route you are not allowed to voluntarily dismiss the case (you can do that in a 13). We’d like to know why he gave up his homestead and didn’t know what would happen.
Every decision in bankruptcy can have life-altering affects and should be examined from all angles. The Trustee, while being incredibly unpopular, is doing nothing wrong. The Trustee is obligated to follow the law or she could be disbarred and brought up on charges.
Bottom line – read EVERYTHING before you file and know what is going on. Our hope is that you do not find yourself or a loved one in a similar situation. We have more than 30 years of combined experience and are happy to review your case with personalized service. Call us today for a free telephone consultation at 816-281-6349.